As Senate Republicans consider a "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act—and with a vote expected as early as Thursday night—Catholic nuns who vocally opposed Trumpcare have released a new video series calling on five crucial Republican senators to "stop this destruction of healthcare in our nation."
"The mission of Catholic Sisters has always been to serve our nation's most vulnerable people. As such, we are united in opposition to the current Republican healthcare proposals."
—Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK Lobby
"The mission of Catholic Sisters has always been to serve our nation's most vulnerable people. As such, we are united in opposition to the current Republican healthcare proposals," said Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice.
Earlier this week, 7,150 Catholic nuns with NETWORK Lobby signed a letter that urged senators to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act, or Trumpcare, which they called "simply immoral" and "the most harmful legislation for American families in our lifetimes." The letter, which was signed by Catholic sisters from every state and Washington, D.C., said, "We fought for the expansion of coverage in the Affordable Care Act because we saw the life-giving value of crucial healthcare programs such as Medicaid."
Late Tuesday night—after the GOP pushed through a party-line procedural vote to open debate—the Senate rejected Trumpcare, with nine Republicans joining the Democrats to kill the bill. A proposal to partially repeal the ACA failed on Wednesday. The fight is far from over, though, with reports on Thursday that Senate Republicans are finalizing their so-called "skinny repeal," which would cause millions of people to lose coverage and allow deep cuts to Medicaid.
In a version of the letter circulated Thursday, the nuns acknowledge recent developments in the Senate, and condemn continued efforts to repeal and/or replace Obamacare:
Rather than continuing to negotiate partisan legislation that would cause tens of millions of Americans to lose access to health coverage, Congress should seek bipartisan solutions to expand quality, affordable coverage. As Catholic Sisters, we stand by our belief that health is a universal right and urge Senators to vote no on the motion to proceed for any bill that would repeal the ACA and cut Medicaid.
The nuns' new video campaign targets five Republicans who have been on the fence about repeal and replace efforts: Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), and Dean Heller (Nev.). In each video, Sister Campbell, who authored the letter, stands beside a "Medicaid is a moral issue" poster and shares anecdotes from the lawmakers' states.
"Be your most compassionate, scientific self, and vote 'no,' and then be the leader we need to move us forward as a nation so that all can get the care they deserve—but first, vote 'no' on these bills," Sister Campbell says in the video to Sen. Cassidy.
Watch Sister Campbell read the letter opposing Trumpcare below: